Inspirefest 2017

Catherine Owens

Artist, 3D & VR

Catherine Owens is an Irish artist living and working in New York City. Her work is largely installation-based, originating from ideas that evolve through drawings, painting, sculpture, photography, sound, film and video. She is highly regarded for her collaborative work with the band U2. As creative director of screen imagery for animation, film and video, she produced their key visual content for five world tours from 1992 to 2010.

Using the technical and production knowledge gained while collaborating on large-scale global projects over the last 20 years, Owens has incorporated this information into her current work, creating a series of LED-based light works that seamlessly bring technology and mark-making together. She directed and was a producer on the first digital 3D film (U2 3D) made for theatrical release in 2008. Shot in South America, its creation spearheaded a series of major technological breakthroughs in 3D filmmaking. The New York Times hailed it as “the first IMAX movie that deserves to be called a work of art”.

She has created and directed visual content and animation for San Francisco-based group Kronos Quartet, and for Chinese pipa player Wu Man, whose Carnegie Hall debut featured an intricate 20-minute animation directed by Owens. She has attended four Lincoln Center Directors Labs in New York as a guest artist and was a keynote speaker at SIGGRAPH in 2008, where she spoke about working in 3D under the title Giving Technology Emotion: From the Artist’s Mind to U23D. While collaborating with U2, Owens commissioned and directed significant video works by such artists as Roy Lichtenstein, David Wojnarowicz, Sugimoto and Shirin Neshat. She also created audio-visual segments for U2’s live shows in collaboration with the Warhol Estate, Keith Haring Estate, Desmond Tutu, Aung San Suu Kyi, Vanessa Redgrave and Maya Angelou.

Owens is currently working on an installation exhibition with Anna Kustera Projects in New York, while developing a series of audio-visual projects for the Virtual Reality space.